What We’re Doing: Eating in Restaurants with a Toddler

Guys, I don’t know if it’s a New York thing (what’s cooking?), or a working mom thing (oh so I’m supposed to go grocery shopping after work THEN cook dinner; NOPE * ), or maybe it’s because I (we?) crave a little outing/adventure and I just love being in a social atmosphere for the most part (+ really hate doing dishes)… but we EAT OUT, like A LOT. If you’ve been a reader/follower for some time now, you know that my little fam and I may as well be restaurant critics at this point lol… and one of the most frequently asked questions I get in response to my Instagram stories is “how do you keep Nolan entertained at restaurants ?” (or something to that effect)- so I figured I’d share here what works for him and us, all in one spot that you guys can go back to if needed!

So first off, let me give the *disclaimers*:

Nolan is 2 going on 3 in a few months as I write this post.

No, he is not always well behaved and far from always perfect when out; however, I have to be honest- he just has a chill little personality and really is “good” in restaurants 90% of the time. In regards to the scary 10% though, he usually can be calmed down and refocused within a few minutes.

Lastly, I am by no means an expert!! Just here to share what works for him and us😁

1. We’ve been taking him out to restaurants with us literally since birth- we chose to not follow the “wait till the shots at 8 weeks rule” bc to be honest, I couldn’t go that long without going out for brunch and dinner!!! Also, I’m a big believer in that the world is a dirty, loud, uncomfortable place- the sooner they can adjust, the better! I remember stowing him under the table at many a dark, loud, crowded restaurant in his little car seat carrier- and I really do believe this helped!

2. We don’t let him have our phones for entertainment. Now PLEASE, if you do let your kids use iPads or phones at the table PLEASE DON’T FEEL BAD OR GUILTY!! Not here to judge AT ALL- do what you need to do!! For us though, we didn’t want him to rely on a device that needed charging- bc god forbid the day came when the battery dies and he doesn’t know how to entertain himself- we were more afraid for ourselves to be screwed lol. So please, no judgement- but I will say, bc he never was given it, he doesn’t even know it exists as an option, and seems to have developed pretty good social skills so far in terms of table skills. I will say, not giving him a “device” does mean more work on our part as adults at the table to engage with him, converse with him ( no matter how boring the topic he brings up is🤣 “sooo… let’s talk about CARS AGAIN”)… but it’s worth it to us in the long run.

3. We play lots of verbal/visual games— “EYE SPY”, “Name your favorite _____” (food, color, animal etc and we just go in a circle around the table!), we make up stories, retell old stories, play guessing games (describe an object and he has to guess), and always have each person tell how their day was- old school, but I swear they really work!

4. We bring plenty of table activities (will share links and visuals below!) and try to rotate which ones we bring so that they always feel fresh. We leave a few in each of our cars for cases of impromptu meals out (which happens frequently for us!).

5. Order bread/crackers/chips/whatever the restaurant provides immediately + decide quickly what we’re all having and order when the server comes for the drink order- time is of the essence with a toddler!

6. Lastly, we like to have Nolan be a part of be whole eating out process- a trip to investigate the bathroom, wash our hands and (hopefully) use the potty, greet and talk with the waitstaff or hostess, and give his own order to the server- we feel like making him do most of the things the adults do helps to keep him occupied as well!

Some of Nolan’s favorite table activities:

Shop them here: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

And before I go, I’m sharing some unedited videos of his current fave restaurant activity- all you need is a roll of dot stickers (can even use reinforcements or those color coded garage sale stickers!) a sheet of paper and a writing utensil! Easier to see visually than for me to describe lol:

Hope this all helps! At the end of the day, practice makes it all better- also “practice” means less dishes to clean also so…💯💯💯

Xo, ❤


What I’m Wearing: NYFW February 2019 – Truths about what ‘Fashion’ people and Bloggers Wear to Fashion Week

Do you ever wonder about the (crazy) fab outfits that bloggers and fashion industry people wear to Fashion Week? This season, multiple references to old Chinese ladies in Chinatown came up regarding the sometimes over-the-top streetstyle looks that appear at fashion week season after season. If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember me sharing on stories how once I got off the train back in my regular neighborhood and away from the NYFW mayhem, a random guy passed me on the street and goes “what the hell are you wearing?! You look completely crazy!” For reference, here is what I was wearing:

Hot pink Marc Jacobs tee | brown faux leather puffer | brown patent skirt | white mules | bracelet handle bag

Now, in the realm of fashion week looks, this one isn’t even anywhere NEAR the craziest! However, I totally get what he was saying (and was in no way offended- he’s kind of right- and ended up sort of inspiring this post {thanks random guy outside the train station!} )

I’m going to aim to answer the three main questions I get about dressing for fashion week here:

1) why the crazy outfits?

2) where do the clothes come from/ what do you do with them afterwards?

3) how do you ‘plan’ your looks so that they reflect what’s happening with streetstyle in general?

Here we go!

1) So why the crazy outfits…to be brutally honest, most fashion people, bloggers included, are aiming to get photographed by streetstyle photographers, online publications, other bloggers etc. The opportunity to get “noticed” for your outfit in the age of social media has really changed the fashion week streetstyle game- one of the most controversial parts of fashion week is the streetstyle aspect- is it outweighing the focus on shows themselves? Maybe. When you arrive to a show, there’s always the inevitable try-hard girls parading back and forth outside the show hoping to get snapped by a photographer- not to hate on them or anything- being picked up by an online publication can really boost your career in this industry- girls, DO YOU- I, in the other hand am usually A) running late B) have to pee C) would rather catch up with friends before the show (although I did get interviewed and snapped by two streetstyle photogs this season and I have to admit it felt pretty damn cool!). The other main reason, at least for me, that we dress in EXTRA EXTRA outfits is because it’s kind of my only chance to play fantasy dress up! As a teacher, it’s not like I’m going to wear the looks I wear to fashion week on the daily- so getting to plan outlandish outfits, wear and photograph them is just plain old FUN- and let’s me (and us, if I’m speaking for industry people) step out of reality for a week.

2) So… where do the clothes come from and what do you do with them after you wear them for shows?

Anine Bing tiger sweatshirt | red leopard midi skirt | white combat boots | tan teddy jacket | pearl clips

To answer the first part of the question- sources for clothing: there are basically three ways bloggers/ industry people get clothes for fashion week.

1. Designers send/ gift them clothing and accessories (for free usually) to wear to their own show. This really only happens to big time bloggers with hundreds of thousands (or more) followers or celebrities/ socialites.

2. Designers LOAN them clothing or accessories, allowing bloggers/ fashion people to do “pulls” (you’ve prob heard every blogger and her mama posting “doing pulls for fashion week today!!!” on her stories the weeks leading up to fashion week. You basically get to pick from the showroom, “borrow” some looks for (usually) free in exchange for covering that brand/designer in your social media posts during the week. This process is more open than straight gifting, meaning that even smaller bloggers can make this happen- I’ve done pulls with a few designers for fashion weeks in past seasons, some through me reaching out with a proposal, and other times the designers/ showrooms/brands have reached out to me.

3. We BUY THE CLOTHING OURSELVES or GASP use something we already have! 75% of my fashion week looks are self purchased- I’m very particular about having control over what I wear; also I like to be sure that what I buy isn’t a one time piece- it must be able to be remixed in my wardrobe after fashion week has come and gone!

Oversized pinstripe blazer | high waisted jeans | brown suede shoes | pearl headband | tortoise bag

As far as the second part of the question – what do you do with the pieces after fashion week is over: if you’ve borrowed from a brand or designer, obviously you return the clothing or accessories. For any gifted items, some bloggers sell or donate them; some probably keep them and maybe rewear them. Personally, like I said above, I make sure that anything I buy myself to wear for fashion week, I know I can and will remix into regular life outfits. For instance, the pieces in the “crazy” pink and brown look: the puffer I wear as my regular winter coat, the neon pink t/shirt I’ll wear under blazers with jeans or with denim shorts come summer. The patent skirt was on loan, so I sent it back.

For the tiger sweatshirt/ red leopard skirt look: I purposely saved the white combat boots for fashion week, but bought them bc I know I’d wear them all the time this winter and spring. I already love and wear printed midi skirts, so the red leopard one was a no-brainer- I’ll rewear it with sweaters and tees in the coming months. The Anine Bing sweatshirt, while pricey, is a hero piece of my wardrobe- it can be dressed up or down and I’ve already worn it with a leather mini AND leggings with sneaks on two different occasions.

As for the brown blazer and jeans look, which was prob the “tamest” of my fashion week looks: you guys know I love a blazer, so I’ll obvi rewear it with tons of tees and jeans, with tights and boots or over a dress. The jeans and shoes I already owned, and the pearl headband and bag were both under $100 and I know they’ll be pieces I reach for to make basic outfits feel special and current (if you didn’t know it, headbands and all hair accessories are having a MAJOR moment right now).

3) How do you plan your fashion week looks, in terms of being “on trend” but also standing out, AND fitting in?

Neon green sweater | green polka dot drill skirt (sold out, similar here) | white combat boots | croc and clear bag | leather moto jacket | white sunnies

I probably start planning my looks a month or so in advance. To be REALLY honest, I’m not a super organized planner; I kind of just let ideas come to me based around pieces I see that excite me and jot them down in a notes tab in my phone! Usually what happens is I come across pieces I know will be good for fashion week- based on current or upcoming trends or just standout pieces that I LOVE – and screenshot them in my phone. Then, as fashion week comes closer, I build looks around those pieces. Also, you have to remember that fashion week designers show for THE FOLLOWING SEASON- meaning the shows that just happened last week (February 2019) are looks for NEXT FALL, not this coming spring. So what bloggers and industry people do is go back to look and shows’ images and runways from last fashion week to kind of see what will be relevant style-wise NOW, if that makes sense? Also, being aware of streetstyle and reading current streetstyle blogs like WhoWhatWear keep us apprised of what’s going on in fashion as well. So for instance, I already owned the neon green sweater above. As fashion week drew closer, I purchased the green polka dot skirt to pair with the neon sweater bc I knew that bold colored monochrome looks were very current, green is having a definite moment, AND head to toe monochromatic looks tend to do well with streetstyle photographers. I paired the green pieces with white accessories (boots and sunnies) for a modern pop, and added the clear and croc bag as kind of the one “non-matching” item of interest. The moto jacket I already owned and literally goes with everything.

So that’s it! I hope I answered some of your “burning” (haha!”) Fashion week related questions here! Shoot me an email, dm, or comment if there’s anything I didn’t get to in this post- and stay tunes for the next post where I’ll be sharing what I learned from the runways this season in terms of upcoming/ staying trends and styling tricks!

Xo, ❤


What I’m Wearing: Brown and Brights

One color combo that I cannot get enough of recently is brown (in varying shades) and brights (neon, pastels, and even primary shades that I haven’t worn in years!).

Brown hasn’t been in the fashion spotlight in like EVER, so I’m pretty pumped that it’s having its heyday- we all have 86296927 black outfits- now, brown, tan, taupe, caramel, coffee suddenly feel SO FRESH. I’ve been loving pairing shades of brown, particularly outerwear and accessories with bright colors- mostly sweaters in fun colors– it feels like I’ve opened up so many new outfit possibilities by injecting brown into my wardrobe– black is obvi a classic for a reason, but brown feels less harsh when paired with a colorful counterpart; more NOW, more chic. I’m currently planning most of my fashion week looks for this season around this color combo– shop some of my fave pieces below to start creating your own “brown and bright” looks!

Lavender sweater | brown teddy jacket

Teddy jacket | beanie | boots

Green sweater | leopard skirt | white bag | white mules

Blue sweater | brown mules (sold out, similar here!) | fur bag (old J.Crew; similar here!)| jeans

Pink sweater | jeans | brown faux fur bag (old J .crew; similar linked!)

Neon sweater | black jeans | brown headband

Shop my fave bright items:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21

…and my favorite brown items:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21

Xo, ❤


What I’m Doing: Mid-Winter Funday Ideas

Knit cardigan (on sale, comes in lots of colors!) | striped band tee | the best fitting black jeans | sneaks | beanie | bag: Chanel

Nolan’s plaid shirt|tee|jeans : H&M

January is always an odd month- post holiday blues (or relief, depending on the moment!), it’s usually freezing out and you’re getting tired of bundling up in 917271 layers everyday; if you’re a parent, the kids not really being able to play outside is getting old REAL quick- but on the positive side, “it’s cold and grey outside” is a great excuse to indulge in fun indoor activities! A favorite weekend or day off plan for us is brunch, followed by some type of adventure or excursion. A few of our fave brunch + indoor activities/museum combos in the NYC/Long Island area include:

1) Queens- Dim sum at Asian Jewels restaurant + The New York Hall of Science- if you’re not Chinese or have never heard of dim sum, it’s basically an assortment of small plates or appetizer style dishes meant to be shared by a group- think Chinese dumplings in lots of varieties! After dim sum, head over to The New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. This place has two extensive indoor “science” based play/explore areas for babies, toddlers, and older kids- plus, it’s free for teachers!

2) Manhattan/ meatpacking- Brunch at Bubby’s or The Standard + a day at The Whitney Museum: both Bubby’s and The Standard Grill are family faves of ours- classic American brunches that are warm, comforting and delish (both are also kid friendly!). After brunch, walk literally a few feet over to the Whitney and spend a few hours taking in some of my fave modern art exhibits- right now there’s a special Andy Warhol exhibit going on until the end of March!

3) Manhattan/ SoHo-Lunch at Barbuto + Children’s Museum of the Arts: first off, are you even a real New Yorker if you’ve never had the roast chicken at Barbuto?! The perfect winter lunch order: The Chicken (thank me later), a pizza to share (white truffle is our fave) and the kale salad- Barbuto is kid friendly, but also one of our fave date spots. Then, head downtown a few blocks to The Children’s Museum of the Arts to create some artwork with your kiddos! It’s under $20 to get in, and free after 4pm- there are lots is different “centers” around the museum (more like a place to create art, than an actual museum)- clay sculpting, dot painting, watercolors, acrylic painting, you name it, you can make it- we love this place bc it’s super relaxed and easy (I even spilled an iced coffee all over the floor there and the people who worked there couldn’t have been nicer and more chill!)

4) Manhattan/ Upper West Side – Brunch at Sarabeth’s + the Children’s Museum of Manhattan: take the 1 train uptown to 79th street and head to Sarabeth’s for a classic and home style brunch, then head either a few blocks north to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for a few hours of play and exploration at this multi- floor facility. Each floor has a different theme for kiddos- there’s a dance studio (kind of like a dance club for toddlers!), a Dora and Diego themed floor, “science” floor, and art floor.

5) Manhattan/ Upper West Side- Brunch at Bluestone Lane + Museum of Natural History (or as Nolan calls it, the “Dinosaur Museum”: light, bright, airy and (somewhat) healthy, Bluestone Lane is a New York standard for a casual brunch. Head to the new Amsterdam Ave location and then to the Museum of Natural History (yes, the one with the big whale that you probably haven’t been to since your 4th grade class trip!). It’s one of our faves because there’s just so much to see- Nolan’s faves include the solar system and dinosaur exhibits, plus the 10 minute solar system “show” (short, interesting, kid friendly).

6) Manhattan/ Soho-Brunch at Jane + The Color Factory: one of my fave cozy brunch spots in Soho, Jane’s menu is pretty much perfect in that you want every single thing on it! Before you plan on heading to The Color Factory after, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time and arrive on time for your “slot”- the exhibit is a photo-op lovers dream with lots of little surprises along the way- good for both kiddos and adult dates!

7) Brooklyn/ Cobble Hill- Bar Tabac + the New York Transit Museum: we’ve been going to Bar Tabac for brunch and lunch for years- it’s in the cobble hill/Boerum hill area of Brooklyn, but feels like you’re stepping into a Parisian Cafe (Nolan’s a big fan if the French toast). We haven’t been yet, but the New York Transit Museum is on our list of places to visit soon- buses, trucks and trains galore that your little one will love exploring- right down the block from Bar Tabac. After the museum, grab ice cream at Van Leeuwen bc even though it’s freezing outside, their mint ice cream is too good to pass up!

8) Brooklyn/ Williamsburg- Sweet Chick + Brooklyn Bowl+ Brooklyn Brewery: Get to Sweet Chick early because there’s usually a wait for their incredible chicken and waffles (although the shrimp and grits is my personal fave!). Head to Brooklyn bowl next (family bowling from 11am-5pm on weekends!) and/or end hour day at the Brooklyn Brewery; we bring a card game for us and coloring/stickers for Nolan (although I think he’s about ready to learn Uno or something easy to play together!)

Hope these ideas give you guys some inspo for fun weekend/ day off adventures! Let me know in the comments if you have anything you’d like me to add to the list!

Xo, ❤